EPA recognizes Evanston for green power successes

Evanston has joined Chicago, passing a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags at larger stores. | File
Evanston has joined Chicago, passing a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags at larger stores. | File

Evanston is now on the EPA’s list of the top 30 local government users of green power nationwide. According to the release:

The City of Evanston announced today that for the first time ever it appears on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of the top 30 users of green power among local governments nationwide.

Evanston ranks as number 20 on the U.S. EPA’s Top 30 Local Government list, which includes cities such as Houston, TX; Portland, OR; and Boston, MA.

The City is using more than 23 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, making up 100 percent of its electricity use. Evanston purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) from MC Squared Energy Services in addition to generating power from the Evanston Water Treatment Facility’s rooftop solar energy system. This month, Evanston is celebrating 100 years of clean, safe drinking water.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of the nation’s top green power users,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “Using 100 percent renewable energy is not only good for our community and the environment, it furthers Evanston’s goal of being the most livable city in America.”

According to the U.S. EPA, the City’s green power use of more than 23 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 3,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes annually.

“We are excited to welcome the City of Evanston, Illinois to the Green Power Partnership and congratulate the City on its commitment to use 100 percent renewable energy,” said Mollie Lemon, Program Manager for EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “By using green power, Evanston is reducing its carbon footprint and demonstrating exceptional environmental leadership.”

In addition to City facilities using 100 percent renewable energy, Evanston’s community choice electricity aggregation program offers residents the opportunity to use 100 percent green power through its three-year contract with Homefield Energy. Residents can learn more about the program at cityofevanston.org/cca.

Earlier this year, Evanston became only the third community in the nation to be awarded a 4-STAR Community Rating for national excellence in sustainability using the program’s self-reporting framework. In line with the greenhouse gas (GHG) objectives laid out by that program, in May 2014 the Evanston City Council unanimously adopted the next phase of a communitywide “Evanston Livability Plan,” aiming to achieve a 20 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2016 relative to 2005 baseline levels.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

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